It might be hard to believe, but before the digital newsstand that you click on through venues like the Apple Itunes store, there existed actual physical newsstands. You don’t see them as much now when you’re traveling. In England they’ve practically died out, and in the US, even though I pass one at South Station every day in Boston, they’re more novelty than practicality. Even at airports they are combined with so many other things that it’s sometimes difficult to separate the news from the junk.
So what a wonder it is to wander through Paris, or Rome or Madrid and still see these delightful, wooden mini-houses full of newspapers, magazines, and lottery tickets. Anytime I see one, I buy something from them. I’m fascinated by the people that run these, these hand-me -downs from previous generations when news to spread on Twitter before it had a chance to get into print.
It must be a labor of love. Or is it possible that there is a cadre of like-minded travelers, bent on nostalgia that keep these guys in business? There are those of us still, who like the touch and feel of a newspaper. It’s tangible. It goes well with a cappuccino in a café, sitting under the shadow of the Pantheon in the Piazza de la Rotunda. It’s the simple pleasures. I like to read the news from home, to check the baseball scores, and even though it would be faster on a device, faster isn’t always better. I prefer the navigation in print, the way your eye can dart across the page to different stories – even the layout is part of the news reading experience that an iPad just can’t duplicate.